Feds Recommend Spectrum Change as Wireless Broadband Demands Mount

The Commerce Departments National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) has taken the first step toward meeting President Obamas goal of freeing up 500MHz of spectrum over the next 10 years.

The NTIA on Monday released a plan that would allocate 115MHz of spectrum to wireless broadband in the next five years.

President Obamas spectrum policy initiative sets forth a bold vision for spurring innovation and preserving Americas technology leadership by expanding the amount of spectrum available for wireless broadband,” said NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling. Todays announcement is a significant down payment towards realizing that goal. NTIA will continue to work with the FCC and other U.S. agencies to make the full 500 megahertz of spectrum available while protecting vital government uses.”

Specifically, NTIA recommends reallocating 1695-1710MHz, used to spread severe weather information and alerts via satellites operated by the Commerce Departments National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and 3550-3650 MHz would be shared with Department of Defense radar systems, mainly on ships. NTIA says its important to put some geographic limitations on the bands availability to prevent harmful interference.

The need for more spectrum comes as wireless broadband use is exploding. Carriers are readying their 4G networks even as consumers adopt smartphones more than theyre using less data-intensive feature phones.

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